Typical Jose Mourinho. He's the coach soccer fans either love or love to hate. Never absent from the press for too long, the Portuguese coach is known for his provocative comments, his lack of a brain-to-mouth filter when talking to the media, and winning.
This season, he's taking the same path. However, he seems to be choosing his words much more carefully with the media in order to avoid a repeat of the Clásico fiascos we saw at the beginning of last season. With the two-legged SuperCopa against Barcelona rapidly approaching, let's hope that the media furor and mudslinging is kept to a minimum so we can focus on the matches.
We don't want last year's high-octane affair which ended in a disgraceful brawl involving players from both teams and Mourinho making a fool out of himself by provoking newly-promoted Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova. Mourinho's improvement of the team over the course of the season and their stellar performances that brought Madrid their 32nd league title went a long way toward making people forget about his bad behavior.
Mourinho hasn't changed that much, though, and so the interesting comments have returned. This time, during a TV interview with Portuguese channel SIC, he requested to change his nickname from the "Special One" to the "Only One."
Like me or not, I am the only one who won the world's three most important leagues [England, Italy, and Spain]. So maybe instead of the ‘Special One', people should start calling me the "Only One."
Jose Mourinho has certainly had a decorated career, to say the least. At four different clubs he has racked up a total of 19 titles: six at Porto, six at Chelsea, five at Inter, and two (thus far) at Madrid. If Real Madrid continue or even improve upon the level of play that saw them steal the la Liga title from rivals Barcelona while setting league records for points and goals scored, it seems that the titles will keep on coming.
In the eyes of most Madrid fans, if the Portuguese coach can manage to win a certain trophy this year, he can choose any name he pleases.
Madrid's long-awaited 10th UEFA Champions League, known as la décima, has eluded the team for more than 10 years. Mourinho's success in the competition at other clubs - Porto and Inter - was part of the reason many fans and the Real Madrid hierarchy were happy to see him arrive. The last two seasons have seen the Whites come agonizingly close, but falter at the semi-final stage, with a cruel defeat to Bayern Munich on penalties in the last campaign.
Mourinho has promised the fans la décima, but has asked them to be patient. The vast improvement the team has made since his arrival has bought our coach some time, but Madrid fans are desperate to see their team lift the trophy again.
If Jose Mourinho can indeed lead the team to such a coveted victory, that would be a great thing for the club and Jose Mourinho. If he can accomplish it, he will be the only coach to win the Champions League with three different clubs from three different nations, which is certainly a unique achievement.
While the nickname makes a certain amount of sense now, it has the opportunity to mean so much more. We'll just have to wait and see.